Sinn Fein top the poll in Louth

Two days of high drama at the count centre in the Carnbeg hotel ended with four men and one woman still standing as Imelda Munster, Ruairi O Murchú, Ged Nash, Fergus O’Dowd and Peter Fitzpatrick were elected to the 33rd Dáil.
The Sinn Fein duo of Imelda Munster and Ruairi O Murchú had the luxury of sitting back and watching the drama unfold from afar after they were both elected on the first count. It was an astonishing result for Sinn Fein locally which reflected their success nationally as Munster topped the poll with a massive 17,203 first preference votes. Her running mate Ruairí O Murchú who was only co-opted into Louth County Council at the tail end of 2017 was also elected after the first count with a total of 12,491. Both totals comfortably surpassed the quotas of 11,778. The vote for the Sinn Fein pair means that they polled more votes than the next five candidates put together.
In complete contrast to the ease in which the Sinn Fein duo gained their seats the race for the remaining three was hugely dramatic with the outcome in the balance right up until 5pm on Monday afternoon. The big loser after a day of high tensions was sitting Fianna Fail TD Declan Breathnach who was the odd man out in the four-way race to claim the final three seats.
The Green Party’s Mark Dearey was also right in the mix until late in the day when he was eliminated after the ninth count just 141 votes shy of Ged Nash. Following Mark’s elimination the battle for the final three seats was between Fergus O’Dowd, Ged Nash, Peter Fitzpatrick and Declan Breathnach. As the counting of Mark Dearey’s transfers began the tension in the count centre was palpable as candidates and campaign managers waited nervously for some news.
At just after 5pm county registrar Mairead Ahern took to the stage and revealed that Ged Nash (11,659 votes), Fergus O’Dowd (11,282) and Peter Fitzpatrick (10,779) had prevailed with Declan Breathnach the odd man out with 9,625 votes after the tenth count.
For the first time ever, the people of Drogheda and East Meath have three TDs to represent them at Dail Éireann with two in Dundalk.

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